Santa Rosa police look for links between armored car robberies

  • Police work the scene on Fitzgerald Drive near a Wells Fargo bank after a bank robbery in Pinole, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011. An armored truck robbery outside the Northern California bank ended in gunplay, leaving a suspect dead and several others wounded. (AP Photo/The Contra Costa Times, Sherry LaVars)

Santa Rosa detectives were looking for any possible links between a deadly shoot-out Wednesday during a botched holdup of an armored truck in Contra Costa County and the armed takeover of an armored car facility in west Santa Rosa earlier this month.

A $100,000 reward remained for information leading to the arrest of two masked thieves who on Aug. 11 followed employees into the Garda Armored Car Service building and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.

In Contra Costa County, one suspect was dead and a second was wounded in the early morning holdup, officials said. Detectives were examining similarities between the cases, Santa Rosa Sgt. Steve Fraga said.

Shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday, two men approached the guard of a Loomis truck outside a Wells Fargo Bank at a Pinole shopping center.

During the confrontation, the truck guard and a police officer were also shot. They were expected to survive.

The wounded suspect escaped and was later apprehended when he showed up at a hospital for treatment.

In the Santa Rosa robbery, two masked gunmen slipped in a door behind an armored Garda truck as it pulled into a nondescript building on Northpoint Parkway off Stony Point Road at about 10:45 p.m. on Aug. 11, police said.

The thieves disarmed and bound two employees and forced them to cooperate, Fraga said. They robbed the company of cash and closed a steel door behind them, locking the employees inside, he said.

Detectives declined to say how much money was taken. However police officials noted that the company's reward offer of $100,000 was "a significant amount."

"We haven't had any takeover robberies of this magnitude in Santa Rosa that we can remember," Fraga said.

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